It’s amazing, and appalling to me, how much this election has divided America. Sure, Democrats and Republicans have often been at odds with each other in past elections, but it seems like the hateful language and rhetoric used in this election to rustle up Americans has caused an irreparable void. The only way to mend it is to set aside our differences and realize that we are all human beings, and that we all share the same desire: a better America.
Whether or not President-Elect Trump will produce this “better America” is yet to be seen, but violent protests and a refusal to see all sides of the situation is not going to make anything better. Democracy is a beautiful thing–a government for the people where we decide what’s what, and to denounce this by disrespecting fellow Americans just because they think differently than you is suppressing that democracy. We need diverse thoughts, if not, we will never be challenged to unite and instill change in the world.
It’s time we stopped seeing each other for our extreme differences and lumping everyone together into a stereotype, like saying all Trump supporters are racist bigots, or that Hillary supporters are naive, heavy government supporters. The reality is that many people chose to vote for who they did for valid reasons to them–and in most cases, they don’t agree 100% with all their candidate’s policies and ideals. It’s time we create an open dialogue with one another and really listen to every side, acknowledging that there are different sides, and can be more than one valid viewpoint when it comes to how our country should be governed.
But what we shouldn’t do is blame those that voted third party for Trump winning and Clinton losing. As much animosity as I have seen between bi-partisan supporters, I’ve seen much more aimed towards those who acknowledged and acted upon a viable alternative option for the presidency. I know many people who voted for candidates they truly believed in, candidates they believed would instill a change in America in the best interest of the people. They exercised their right in our Democracy to vote for who they believed would be best, and should not be condemned for that. If anything, they demonstrate the true nature of democracy, to vote for something you believe in, regardless if it’s popularity. They voted against the two-party system that is so divisive.
So the next time you come across someone with a different political view than you–whether they be family, friend, or stranger–take a moment and hear them out. Everyone’s feelings are valid, and there’s no reason we can’t have a respectful discussion about them. We might just learn something about each other.